Home Oklahoma City Press Releases 2009 Former Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement from Tonkawa Tribe

Former Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement from Tonkawa Tribe

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 21, 2009
  • Western District of Oklahoma (405) 553-8700

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK—Today, Dawena Pappan, 39, of Ponca City, Oklahoma, pled guilty before United States District Judge Robin Cauthron to embezzling funds from the Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma, announced Robert J. Troester, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Pappan, who is a member of the Tonkawa Tribe, served as the Tribe’s Secretary-Treasurer and was a member of the Tribe’s Business Committee from mid-1999 through mid-2008. Today, she pled guilty to having worked with other tribal officers from April 2005 through April 2008, to take several hundred thousand dollars of proceeds from the Tribes casino operations for their personal use, rather than legitimate tribal activities.

At sentencing, Pappan faces up to five years in federal prison plus a $250,000 fine and mandatory restitution. A sentencing hearing has been set for January 20, 2010, at 9:00 a.m.

This case is a result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeb Boatman.